By: Jason Thatcher

Not every curing method is the right one for every fishing application. This holds especially true when pursuing king salmon in-river. Is a hover-fishing bait or tidewater bobber bait ideal for side drifting and boondogging or vice versa? No, not really. To maximize bait’s effectiveness successful anglers tailor their bait to a particular application.

October is prime time on many rivers to gather, cure and stockpile eggs for the current and upcoming fishing seasons. The following is one of my preferred curing methods for side drifting eggs, dragging or boondoggin.

Covering a lot of water and making long drifts is an effective way to put salmon in the tank. However, it’s hard on an egg cluster. I’ve found this cure necessary to produce a tougher egg that can take abuse and finish an entire drift as opposed to one that milks out quickly and is primarily used for hover fishing, or fishing straight down with a heavy weight.

I save as many early season eggs as I can for dragging baits. I prefer the smaller eggs with tighter skein so I can make small, tight, bait clusters. I will save the larger balloon eggs for the hover fishing described in the previous paragraph.

Making Perfect Side Drifting Eggs

*Start the process by scraping any excess blood from under the skein’s membrane. I use the blade of a knife to apply light pressure to push the blood out to the end of the membrane. Then follow up by patting it dry and clean with a paper towel.

*Then butterfly the skein and lay it egg side up.

*Sprinkle Red Fire Cure on the eggs and let it sit for several minutes until it begins to juice.

*The Fire Cure is followed by a healthy dusting of Fire Power (krill powder).

*I then go back and rub the cure/krill into the eggs to ensure it gets in between all of the folds.

*Then flip the eggs over and do a light coat of cure on the membrane side.